Illinois State Police are still investigating a crash that occurred last week that killed 3 women near Hamel, Illinois.
Eight Vehicle Pileup Claims Three Lives, Injures Twelve
The truck driver, a 53-year-old man from Colorado, crashed into 7 vehicles on Illinois Interstate 55 at approximately 6:15 p.m. on November 21, 2017. Not only did the incident kill 3 people, the truck driver did not slow down or stop following the accident. Further, 12 people sustained injuries, two of which sustained life-threatening injuries, according to The Intelligencer. Police have yet to release the truck driver’s name.
Police Still Working To Determine Cause Of Crash
Calvin Dye, a spokesman for the Illinois State Police, said, “we are still investigating why he didn’t slow down or stop.”
Dye also noted that there was construction going on on parts of the interstate but that there was no construction in the immediate vicinity of the crash. Dye said, “Where the actual crash happened there was a gap in between the construction. We’re still investigating as to why the driver was unable to stop and why he struck those other seven vehicles.”
The car driver, Madisen Bertels, 17, and her sister Hailey Bertels, 20, both of Staunton, were pronounced dead at the scene after their four-door 2010 Kia Forte was struck by the tractor-trailer traveling southbound on the interstate. Nineteen year old Vivian Vu passed away on Thursday as a result of wounds sustained during the crash.
A third person has died from injuries sustained in an 8-vehicle crash near Hamel on Tuesday that already claimed the lives of two sisters. https://t.co/WTd63MdyLP
— Casey Bischel (@CaseyBischel) November 24, 2017
Dan Cox, the superintendent of Staunton school district, commented on the accident saying, “I would not wish this on anyone. It was a difficult morning for our staff and students,” referring to the morning after the accident, “but it was great to see everyone support and help each other through this time.”
The exact causes of death are not known at this time; however, an autopsy will be performed on the victims in the days to come.
Captain James Whiteford, of the Edwardsville Fire Department, said, “We had 20 people from Edwardsville that responded. I was the landing zone coordinator for the helicopters that were coming in. Chief (Rick) Welle was the liaison between police agencies and fire agencies on scene. We were just acting in support.”
“We had four patients transported by helicopter – two by ARCH, one by Survival Flight and one by Rescue Flight,” he said. “Troy EMS had one ambulance that transported to Staunton, Edwardsville had three ambulances that transported and Alton Memorial (Hospital) had two ambulances that transported.”
The contributing causes of this accident are not known.
The crash is still under investigation by the Illinois State Police Crash Reconstruction Unit.